When I read in previous volunteers’ blogs that they had a lot of spare time while living in the village, I thought that sounded nice. Some caught up on reading the classics, others became fluent in a language and others studied for the GRE. Of course, I thought this meant during the winter when schools were possibly closed. By this time, I would be familiar with the family’s daily pattern and wrapped up in a comfy blanket with hot cocoa. But alas, I did not consider the “before school starts” time.
Grant it, I have been in my village less than a week, but occupying my time without wireless internet is incredibly difficult. I spend a large amount of time trying to make sense of the Georgian alphabet, and when I feel utterly stupid, I switch to Russian (it is debatable whether or not this helps my self-esteem). I sit, watch my host family, and try to identify Georgian words I know. My host family also has a piano which I practice at least once an hour each day. Often, I stare at my phone trying to send people telepathic messages to call/text me. I do bird watching from my window while drinking tea in the morning and afternoons. I don’t know what kind of birds they are but there are lots of them. Usually there is one big event of the day that gets me out of the hose like a tour of the neighborhood or the peach garden. Yesterday, I met a TLG volunteer and several Peace Corps volunteers in town. Today my host sister and I are going to visit my school.
What does my family do? My host family cleans in the morning. The grandmother seems to be in charge of the garden and chickens (I would help her, but I don’t know if I have lost all credibility in the garden since the basil fiasco. She was chuckling at me yesterday as I made my way to the basil plant for my caprese salad, which also made me laugh). The grandfather spends all day in the woodworking shop building Georgian three-string guitars (But they are not called guitars. Everyone gets very offended if I refer to them as guitars. I should probably make a flashcard for that word). As for the others, around mid-day they disappear, I suspect, into a room with a tv, which I have yet to find, but often hear.